[FOUNTAIN]Will gambling swallow all?The sea can be terrifying. To mere mortals threatened by high waves and rough storms, the sea is a symbol of fury and violence. It can swallow everything. But at the same time, it is also an object of mystery, with so much life hidden beneath the surface.
In the oldest Sumerian mythology, the sea meant the origin of creation and was a symbol of rage. The epic Babylonian poem, Enuma Elish, was influenced by the Sumerian concept. In the beginning, only Apsu, the god of the fresh water, and Tiamat, the god of the salt water, existed. When the two waters mixed, other gods were created. When the number of young gods grew, the world of the gods became increasingly noisy. Irritated by the trouble, Apsu complained he could not rest or sleep because of the noise that the young gods were creating. Apsu urged Tiamat to kill them all. One of the young gods named Ea sensed the plot and killed Apsu. Having lost her husband, Tiamat was enraged. So she created various monsters and attacked the young gods. Marduk, one of the young gods, defeated all the monsters and sliced Tiamat in two, making sky out of one piece and land out of the other. And the sea of chaos was calmed and the order of the universe was created. The Sea Story, the adult game rooms that have driven Korean society into chaos, is also mythical.
With the advent of the new millennium, information technology has become the hope of Korea. At the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s New Year’s presentation in 2000, President Kim Dae-jung demonstrated an electronic fishing game. The presentation was a showcase to boost the country’s game industry. In 2004, the size of the world game software market was $33.521 billion.
The game industry was once dashing toward the future, but now it is addicted to gambling. The Sea Story game is said to have been copied from Ooumi Monogatari, or Great Sea Story, a variant of a slot machine. The first slot machine was invented in 1895 by Charles Fey as a gambling machine, and it soon spread across the United States. Goryeo-period historian Kim Bu-sik wrote in “Samguk Sagi,” or the “Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms,” that when people go crazy about gambling, the families and the country will go to ruin. This is not the game industry we had once aimed at. If we let gambling prevail, the healthy electronic game industry will lose its place. The gambling is bound to overwhelm benign programs. The authorities need to reveal the truth and seek accountability regarding the Sea Story controversy. But at the same time, the case could also be the Tiamat to save the game industry.
by Kim Jin-kook
The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.